Jan’s Notebook

TEN WAYS TO CREATE A GLAMOROUS ROOM

Andy and Kate Spade’s New York living room --- The Selby
I love this room----it has all of the elements I think are wonderful---art, books, personal objects and comfort---it looks like real people live here and love where they live.
THE TOP TEN
CHARACTER CHAIRS
There is nothing worse than a room that is filled with ALL upholstered furniture---skirts on everything and no DETAILED CARVING or WONDERFUL FINISHES.
Room done by Jan Showers for D Home
JS Collection Carleton Chair
COFFEE TABLES
Coffee tables are right up there with mantles/fireplaces and a great view when it comes to answering the question “What is the CENTER OF ATTENTION in a room?” They are in the middle of everything---and, so useful. I put all of the things I love on them---books, collections, a drinks tray---see what I mean.
Living room inspired by a villa in the South of France
Room by Kelly Wearstler
My Harrison Coffee table in architectural bronze with things I love
BOOKS
Those of you who read my NOTEBOOK regularly know that I love books----love to buy them, read them and give them to friends. As I mentioned earlier, I put them on coffee tables and in bookcases, but at my house you may find them stacked on the floor---we need more bookcases! A room without BOOKS is a room with no character.
A library/home office with bookcases
Kate Spade’s dressing area ---notice the books on her windowsill---The Selby
CHIC LAMPS
JS Collection Venetian Series #4 in turquoise
Girls---and lots of men, too---know that even with the most stunning dress or suit, there is still nothing more important than good SHOES and a good HANDBAG. Well, a room is the same----no matter how fabulous the furnishings are, LAMPS are the key to a GLAMOROUS ROOM. Overhead lighting is only good for filling in areas where lamp light doesn’t exist or to highlight a wonderful piece of art. This is a dangerous subject for me to discuss in a short space---lighting in general is something I can give a lecture on in two seconds. Let me show you some photos of lamps that will make your rooms absolutely fabulous!
1930’s Murano lamp
JS Collection Lemon Drop Lamp
JS Collection Venetian Series #1 in gold
MIRRORS
Living room in our country house

I am an art lover and believe there should be good art in a room but there should also be a
MIRROR in almost every room---clients often ask me about this---I always answer that it is not ok NOT to have a mirror in every room. When placed correctly, they create instant GLAMOUR! Here are a few of my favorites….
Antique Venetian mirror depicting family travels
A fabulous Maison Jansen mirror, c. 1940
The Wavy Edge Mirror from JS Collection
COLOR
Our townhouse dining room---Benjamin Moore Wyeth Blue
COLOR in a room is so important. I often like to match the drapery color so that one feels enveloped. This is not always true---one of my favorite rooms is a chocolate brown library with ivory sofa and ivory drapery. Here are some other ways to add color to a room:
Colorful pillows add warmth and color to any room
My collection of chartreuse Murano glass
Boldly colored pillows and flowers change the look of this neutral room
PERSONAL COLLECTIONS AND OBJECTS
A collection of obelisks
Billy Baldwin once said, “A room is never successful if it’s not PERSONAL.” This is one of my favorite quotes, and there is no way to state this any better than Billy did. We’ve all seen wonderfully expensive houses with rooms that look like hotel suites. To me, these rooms are not glamorous because there is nothing to let us know who lives there. I don’t care what you collect----framed insects, vintage candy cigarette boxes, photos of your family and friends, or fabulous art----these are the things that MAKE A ROOM WORK.
Andy and Kate Spade at home---their collections are everywhere---The Selby
Collection of silver boxes---The Selby
A great collection of picture frames and family pictures---The Selby
ART
Rauschenberg hangs over an 18th century limestone mantle
Investing in ART is such a pleasure. I advise my clients to hire an ART CONSULTANT---someone who is involved in the art world on a daily basis will find wonderful works. Their job is to determine what kind of art appeals to the client and then search for it. Decorative art is not a good option---it can be expensive and worthless at the same time. Be sure that the art you are buying is not derivative or a copy. Again, we don’t want our houses to look like hotel rooms---think hotel art. Good art is available at so many price levels. You don’t have to buy a Rothko to have good or even great art, although I would love to own one!
Man’s study

A Robert Longo print over a 19th century mantle
COMFORTABLE SEATING
A living room in a high rise
Earlier I mentioned that rooms with all upholstered furniture had no character---that is why we need character chairs. However, we must have COMFORTABLE SOFAS and LOUNGE CHAIRS in a room to make it inviting. I want to be able to lounge in any room, no matter how formal. Here are some of my favorite comfortable sofas and chairs:
The Villa Sofa and Gigi Chair from JS Collection
The Rothschild Chair from JS Collection
The Palazzo Sofa from JS Collection
By the way, there should always be a TABLE in close proximity to every chair and sofa. Nothing worse than having to set a wine glass or coffee cup on the floor! This goes for ultra modern interiors as well. NEVER leave someone stranded without a table nearby.
MULTIPLE SEATING AREAS
Living room with two seating areas
I realize that not every room is large enough for SEVERAL SEATING AREAS, but if there is space, this is preferable to all of the furniture placed in the middle of a room. Usually, by using a BANQUETTE, there will be room for at least 2 seating areas. Even having a DESK or CHAIR in a corner by a window creates the look of another place to be in a room.
This banquette creates a second seating area
An inviting chair in the corner of a bedroom
A desk in the corner of this room creates another area
HERE’S TO A WONDERFUL, HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR----HOPEFULLY, YOU’LL SPEND SOME OF IT IN A GLAMOROUS ROOM!
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